|Fort Wayne, Indiana
|Branding||WANE-TV 15 (general)
NewsChannel 15 (newscasts)
Can Count On
|Channels||Digital: 31 (UHF)
Virtual: 15 (PSIP)
15.2 Antenna TV
15.3 Ion Television
|Affiliations||CBS (Secondary through 1957)|
|Owner||Nexstar Media Group
(Indiana Broadcasting, LLC)
|First air date||September 26, 1954|
|Call letters' meaning||Fort WAyNE|
|Former callsigns||WINT (1954–1957)|
|Former channel number(s)||Analog:
15 (UHF, 1954–2009)
|Transmitter power||1,000 kW|
|Height||232 meters (761 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WANE-TV, virtual channel 15 (UHF digital channel 31), is a CBS-affiliated television station located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, United States. The station is owned by Nexstar Media Group. WANE's studios and transmitter are located on West State Boulevard in the Tower Heights section of northwest Fort Wayne. The station's call letters are pronounced "Wayne" as in Fort Wayne, its city of license.
The station signed on the air on September 26, 1954 as WINT, originally broadcasting its signal from a transmitter in Auburn. It was Fort Wayne's second television station to launch but was technically licensed to, and had studios in, Waterloo. The station's original owner, Tri-State Television (not to be confused with Tri-State Christian Television, owners of WINM channel 12), took advantage of peculiarities in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules to direct the signal to Fort Wayne. Although the city was big enough to support three full network affiliates, the FCC had originally allocated only a single station, WKJG-TV (now WISE-TV) on UHF channel 33, to the city. This circumstance attracted the attention of Congress and led to changes in how broadcast licenses were assigned.
The Indiana Broadcasting Company, owner of WISH-TV in Indianapolis and WANE radio 1450 AM (now WLYV), purchased WINT in 1956. The new owners changed the station's call letters to WANE-TV, reflecting its co-owned radio station, and moved the studios and offices to Fort Wayne. The analog transmitter remained at its rural Auburn location until 1957. Indiana Broadcasting became known as the Corinthian Broadcasting Company in 1957. Since then, WANE-TV and WISH-TV have become close sister stations and for a time used same news theme as WISH-TV from 1997 until 2012. (Currently WANE-TV uses a separate graphics package.) The stations share resources, which allows WANE to use WISH-TV's resources for breaking news, live events and sports coverage.
The station has always been a CBS affiliate, but also maintained a secondary affiliation with ABC until WPTA (channel 21) signed on in September 1957. During the late-1950s, WANE-TV was also briefly affiliated with the NTA Film Network. The station produced local programming shows such as "The Ann Colone Show," a mid-afternoon talk and variety program. WANE radio was sold off in 1966.
Corinthian was purchased by Dun & Bradstreet in 1970 which in turn sold the station to the Belo Corporation in 1983. However, WANE left Belo with two stations over the FCC's television station ownership limit at the time, so the company sold WANE and WISH to the LIN TV Corporation. In September 1999, WANE-TV acquired the local rights to Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune from NBC affiliate WKJG-TV, which had run both programs starting in September 1990.
After the launch of UPN on January 16, 1995, Fox affiliate WFFT (channel 55) began a secondary affiliation with the fledgling network. The network's programming eventually moved to WANE-TV full-time in 2003 after it launched a new digital subchannel. WANE-DT2 also featured repeats of newscasts seen on the main channel as well as Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne basketball games. In September 2006, UPN programming was dropped after the network merged with The WB (seen locally on WPTA-operated cable-only outlet "WBFW") to form The CW.
On September 15, 2008, WANE announced LIN TV, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks had not been able to reach an agreement to renew carriage of WANE and other LIN-owned stations on the two cable providers due to a dispute over compensation for the stations' carriage. The company reached agreements with all television service providers in the Fort Wayne area, except for TWC and Bright House. The contract with those providers expired on October 2, 2008. At 12:35 a.m. on October 3, the LIN-owned stations were removed from TWC and Bright House systems nationwide. It would not be until October 29 when WANE-TV was restored to Time Warner Cable in Northwest Ohio. However, it did not reappear on Bright House Networks systems in Grant County, Indiana. Bright House viewers in Grant County now only have WTTV from Indianapolis as their CBS affiliate.
Shortly thereafter, after an aborted merger plan with Meredith Corporation, Media General announced on January 27, 2016 that it was being acquired by Nexstar Broadcasting Group with the new company named "Nexstar Media Group". As Nexstar already owns WFFT and since the Fort Wayne market is too small to allow duopolies in any case, in order to comply with FCC ownership rules as well as planned changes to rules regarding same-market television stations which would prohibit future joint sales agreements, the company will be required to sell either WFFT or WANE to another company. Nexstar announced on June 13, 2016 that it would keep WANE and sell WFFT-TV as well as four other stations (including soon-to-be former sister stations WLFI-TV in Lafayette and WTHI-TV in Terre Haute) to Heartland Media, through its USA Television MidAmerica Holdings joint venture with MSouth Equity Partners, for $115 million.
The station's digital signal is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|15.1||1080i||16:9||WANE-HD||Main WANE-TV programming / CBS|
WANE-TV shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 15, on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 31. Through the use of PSIP, digital television receivers display the station's virtual channel as its former UHF analog channel 15.
WANE-TV presently broadcasts 24 hours of locally produced newscasts each week (with 4 hours on weekdays and two hours each on Saturdays and Sundays); in addition, the station produces the sports highlight program The Highlight Zone, which airs Friday nights at 11:10 p.m. The station's weekend morning news runs one hour beginning at 8 a.m. with an earlier start at 7 a.m. at times throughout the year. The reason for an inconsistent start time is due to CBS and children's programming obligations.
Unlike most CBS affiliates in the Eastern Time Zone, the station does not air local newscasts in the weeknight 5:30 p.m. timeslot. WANE's weekend morning newscasts used to be the market's only one until WPTA debuted a competing weekend morning news in early November 2016.
After having its operations taken over by the Granite Broadcasting Corporation, WISE-TV's news department was combined with ABC affiliate WPTA. There was a decrease in ratings for the new Indiana's NewsCenter newscasts, which resulted in WANE-TV becoming the market's dominant news station (according to Nielsen Media Research) since it was the only other news-producing station in the area prior to WFFT-TV beginning a nightly newscast in 2009. This was most easily attributed to continued viewer resentment towards WPTA and Granite for the elimination of WISE-TV's news department and arguably its identity and history. WPTA management said the changes were part of a longer-term plan that would need up to five years to take hold with viewers, but that never materialized.
On May 18, 2009, WPTA and WISE-TV became the first two television stations in the Fort Wayne market to upgrade their newscasts to 16:9 widescreen enhanced definition. Although not truly high definition, the aspect ratio matched those of HD television screens. Broadcasts on WANE-TV were previously in pillarboxed 4:3 standard definition, though by July 2012, the station began the process of transitioning its newscasts to high definition. The upgrade to HD occurred, along with the debut of a new set and graphics on September 10, 2012, making it the second station (and first network-affiliated station) in the Fort Wayne market to have made the upgrade (WFFT-TV, a former Fox affiliate that has since rejoined the network, was the first but did not make the upgrade until after the station had lost its Fox affiliation in 2011).
Notable former on-air staff
- "Require Prime Evening Time for NTA Films", Boxoffice: 13, November 10, 1956
- Eggerton, John (December 7, 2003). "Suddenly It's Hip To Spectrum-Split". Broadcasting & Cable.
- WISH-TV and WNDY returns (but not WANE) to Bright House Marion Chronicle-Tribune
- "Media General to buy WANE parent in $1.6 billion deal". The Journal Gazette. Associated Press. March 21, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2014.
- Media General Completes Merger With LIN Media, Press Release, Media General, Retrieved 19 December 2014
- "Nexstar-Media General: It's A Done Deal". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Nexstar Clinches Deal to Acquire Media General". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 January 2016.
- "Prather Buys 5 TVs From Nexstar-Media Gen.". TVNewsCheck. June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
- RabbitEars TV Query for WANE
- Eggerton, John (2009-08-07). "LIN TV Develops Blackberry App For Mobile TV Service". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
- Verbatim: WANE announces launch of retro channel, The Journal Gazette, December 2, 2011.
- "Antenna TV coming to WANE-DT 15.2 on December 26". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and Second Rounds" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-24.
- "Nicole Briscoe bip". ESPN. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
- "About Rolland G. Smith". Retrieved 12 March 2013.